Light scattering by ultracold atoms in an optical lattice

Stefan Rist, Chiara Menotti, Giovanna Morigi

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    We investigate theoretically light scattering of photons by ultracold atoms in an optical lattice in the linear regime. A full quantum theory for the atom-photon interactions is developed as a function of the atomic state in the lattice along the Mott-insulator-superfluid phase transition, and the photonic-scattering cross section is evaluated as a function of the energy and of the direction of emission. The predictions of this theory are compared with the theoretical results of a recent work on Bragg scattering in time-of-flight measurements. We show that, when performing Bragg spectroscopy with light scattering, the photon recoil gives rise to an additional atomic site-to-site hopping, which can interfere with ordinary tunneling of matter waves and can significantly affect the photonic-scattering cross section. © 2010 The American Physical Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number013404
    JournalPhysical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2010


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